Paper shredders are machines that are used by individuals and companies to reduce idea and identity theft by shredding their documents into strips or pieces, making it difficult to read important information like social security numbers or account numbers. Paper shredders help ensure that documents you don't want seen, will not be seen, at least coherantly. If you're using the paper shredder for your home office and don't plan to shred a large volume of paper, you'll probably be happy with a model that will only take single sheets at a time. For use of higher volumes of paper, you can get paper shredders which feed 4 pieces at a time.
Straight-cut or strip-cut paper shredders cut the paper into long strips of 1/8 to 1/2 inch in width. They can handle a high volume of paper and don't require much maintenance. Cross-cut shredders cut the paper both length and width-wise. This means they do a more thorough job. These shredders usually cost more and can require more maintenance. In an article on identity theft, Consumer Reports recommends you use a cross cut shredder.
Make sure the shredder takes the size paper you use. Some smaller shredders will only shred half sheets. And, if you use oversize paper, you don't want a shredder that takes just letter size. Think about where you want the shredded paper to go. Some paper shredders come with attached bags for the paper to fill (but these bags can become expensive over time). Paper shredders are often designed to feed right into waste paper baskets, so think about the size of the baskets that you have.